Miles told you how he found out his wife was cheating on him and how it destroyed his life. I am that stupid, cheating wife and I not only almost destroyed him, but myself as well. That was then, but he was a man with a big heart and he loved me. He was big enough to put us back together. Miles, I'll love you forever.
Heidi Ringwald. That is me. I had everything and ever since I was a child I expected that everything would come to me as my due. My parents were fairly well-to-do and if I mentioned something that I wanted, it was soon in my possession. Not only that I had more than my share of good looks. Boys started being attracted to me in my earliest teens. I will say my folks gave me plenty of warnings about the opposite sex and kept strict watch over me. I guess I ended up being a flirt and I was quite the little tease.
It wasn't until I was seventeen that I was able to lose my virginity. I was in love with a boy named John Harris. He was a year older than I and we didn't get together, or should I say, progress to having sex until my junior year. He was a senior and took me to a Valentines dance. I was his Valentine! Every chance from then until he graduated we were a couple. Through the summer we practically lived together. That is until my mother caught us.
A week later John went out of my life when he went off to college. It was a lonely senior year for me. My folks rode herd on me like you wouldn't believe and wouldn't allow me any contact with my love. I didn't know it then but I wouldn't see John again for many years. One thing I learned from all of this--it was smart to be discreet in all things sexual. I did refine my flirting and was very careful to whom I gave my favors until I was totally on my own. There were ways around my parents' tight control, mostly by making friends with other girls my mother and father approved of. We used each other as excuses and covered each other's butt when necessary.
I went on to school after graduating high school and became the ultimate party girl. That is until my last year, when I met Miles Compton. For some reason I was attracted to him and we started dating. I was so fearful of him finding out about the reputation I had collected, I always suggested we go to these little out of the way places. I swore that I was happy just being with him in these quiet places, when all along I was afraid I would run into someone that knew about my previous wild ways.
Strange--I did fall in love with Miles. He was a serious man in many ways, but he was in love with me and showed it in everything he did. My father steered me to a job as a buyer in an upscale clothing store when my schooling was completed. Miles had a little more trouble finding work, but eventually after three months he landed a job in a factory. Something to do with systems or something. A month later he proposed and three months later we were married.
A year later, our baby girl Glenna was born and three years after that we were able to purchase our own home in a nice neighborhood with some friendly neighbors. Miles made friends easily and it didn't matter if it was a man or woman. Myself--well I had always been able to attract men and I pretty much had a captive audience in those that lived near us. The women of the neighborhood didn't seem to mind if I flirted with their husbands and Miles had never shown any jealousy, so I always had a great time at these get-togethers.
Miles and I had been married ten years. I was in Boston on the buying trip I took every two weeks, when someone shouted my name. "Heidi Ringwald! Heidi, is that you?"
I turned and I recognized John Harris immediately. He walked toward me and we hugged and then he kissed me. All of the love that I had for John when I was a teenager came rushing back. Before the evening was done and even late as it was, I called Miles and said that I had to meet another salesman the next day so I would be staying over.
I never hesitated at all when John suggested we spend the night together catching up on what our lives had been in the last several years. Yes we had sex. Maybe we both felt guilty afterward and we made a pact that we wouldn't mention our families when we were together. It was inevitable we would do this again. John was on the same schedule working for another clothing chain as I was. The die was cast and it worked well for the next twelve years.
At times I was almost overwhelmed with guilt. Miles was home trusting that his cheating wife was ever faithful. He was solid, dependable and loving, but I lived for these trips out of town. The cheating on my husband had been going on for several years now and I saw no reason to discontinue it. Sex with John was wild and uninhibited and we did let ourselves go. We were both married and had children. John never mentioned his wife and I was careful not to mention Miles when we were together. And then the accident!
This particular night had been especially intense and we overslept. I wanted it to last and wanted one more session in bed before leaving. I didn't have time to clean up and had just slipped my panties on as we said good-bye to each other. On the road with John oozing out of me, I was uncomfortable and stopped at a filling station to remove my underwear, replacing them after cleaning up the best I could. I put the dirty pair in my overnight bag and tossed the bag onto the back seat.
Coming into town, I was unexpectedly hit by another car and although I don't think I was knocked unconscious, a rescue squad transported me to the hospital. Oh my God, I suddenly remembered my filthy panties in my bag. I couldn't call Miles. He might open it and see them. I called my daughter instead. "Glenna, I've had an accident and am in the hospital. There is nothing seriously wrong with me, but I'm being kept overnight for observation. Would you find out where my car is and get my briefcase and overnight bag from it? I don't want to bother your father."
Glenna said she would and then come to the hospital. I was sedated and when I roused just a little, Glenna was there beside me. I questioned her about my things. "I called Daddy and he is picking up your briefcase and your overnight bag. He is upset because you didn't call him first. Anyway he is coming in to see you this evening. You are going to be fine, the doctor said so."
I was worried, but not overly so. I didn't think Miles was one to snoop in my things, but it was a worry. I'm sure I could tell when he came in if he had found me out. Glenna talked to him on the phone and from what I could tell I was still safe. When Miles came in he kissed me and seemed only worried about my health and informed me I was due for a new car. He acted just as I expected him to. He held my hand all the while he was with me and occasionally leaned down and kissed me. God, I do love him! He is stable and loving and I can trust him to do everything for me.
I compared him sitting beside me to last night with John. Miles is not very exciting, not like John is anyway. Can a woman love two men in a totally different way? Am I risking anything? Maybe, but if Miles finds out, I'm sure I can convince him to forgive me. He totally loves me. As he was leaving, he asked what he could do for me. "Do you want me to unpack your bag or anything?"
An explosive "no" came out involuntarily. "Miles Compton, I'll take care of that tomorrow." I think I covered myself well. At least I hope I did.
There were several neighbors welcoming me when I reached home in the morning. Tonight was a planned neighborhood party and all wanted to know if I was going to be able to attend. Of course I was. These parties were fun. It gave me a chance to flirt with my neighbors and their wives didn't mind. Some of them always kept Miles talking to them. He wasn't into flirting like I was and friendly to everyone. He sat and listened to what was happening in their lives and told a few jokes. Some of them even seem to like him more than they did me. Didn't matter.
Miles was just a little quieter and at first sat by himself. Right now he is talking to Audrey Turner. She is the widow who lives down the street. I wonder what they are talking about. My God look, he is holding her hand. That's strange. She better not be trying to get him away from me. He's mine! I'll ask her. I know people and can read if there is any feelings for Miles.
Her answer was strange. She said she wasn't trying to steal him, but to make sure I wasn't doing anything to let him get away. When she left, I asked Miles, "What was all that about?"
"Audrey is lonely. I could see you flirting with our horny neighbors the same as usual, so I just stopped to cheer her up a little. She loved her husband very much."
"Are you jealous of me flirting?"
"Not ever. You find someone that is better to you than I am, he can have you."
"You're my husband. You're supposed to fight for me."
"It depends on when it came time to fight for you if I thought you were worth it."
Miles was into one of his serious streaks. "Miles, lighten up. This is a party. I'm getting my batteries charged and then we will go home and I'm going to screw your brains out." I left and went back to my horny neighbors. I held court in and out of the pool the same as usual. That is until I noticed all the womenfolk were gathered at the table where Miles was. That damned divorcée, Mitzy, was there too. She was younger than me, lived across the street and dated a lot. Could she be after Miles? A pang of jealousy went through my chest. That feeling that hit me was something that had never happened to me before.
Miles didn't help either as we got up to leave and loud enough for all to hear asked if my batteries were charged. Was I ready to go home? Screw him, he isn't getting any tonight. I tossed and turned and for once didn't sleep too well. Was it the uncomfortable feeling of dread that was pressing down on my chest? I had never had a feeling like this before.
I did in the morning. "Is our marriage in trouble?"
"What makes you say that?"
"The way you treated me last night. You said something nasty about charging my batteries in front of our friends."
"That's it? No explanation?"
"What's to explain? You did last night the same as you always do at these parties. I don't mind. Maybe I was a little more outspoken. That's all."
"What about you holding hands with Audrey?"
"Give me your hand." Miles took my hand. "Heidi, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. That is the same as what happened when I reached over and said I was sorry Audrey missed her husband. For one minute we shared something together and it made her a little less lonely."
"Well maybe, but it looked like it was more than that. What about Mitzy? You two had your heads awful close."
"She was telling about how she felt when she found out her husband was cheating on her. You were busy and then the other wives came over and we talked about things that were happening in the neighborhood and told the latest jokes. They asked about Glenna's plans now that she is out of high school."
"Miles how would you feel if you found out I was cheating on you? Just for instance." How did that thought reach my lips?
"I don't know. It is impossible to think about. I wouldn't know until I was faced with it."
"Would you divorce me?"
"I said I don't know. If this conversation isn't leading anywhere, let's drop it. Remember you are my wife and I love you."
Glenna came in to see how I was feeling. I heard her talking to Miles. I tried to take a nap, but for some reason I was uneasy. I made up my mind that I would give Miles more of my attention before my next trip to Boston.
I gave Miles a lot more sex than usual in the next two weeks. He was a wonderful lover. He cared how I felt and thought of me first before himself. He was so predictable though. We had been married for twenty-two years. Was I satisfied to be with him another twenty years? Yes I am! What about John? Can I give up seeing him every two weeks? Maybe I better think about telling John that we should break this off. Two weeks--I'd decide by then.
I got home as usual on Friday afternoon. Things seemed normal. Good. I had told John I wasn't going to be having sex with him anymore and he agreed to break off our relationship. We did let it all hang out the two nights we were together. There certainly is something to say for good-bye sex!
Miles called Glenna to come over for lunch on Saturday. She came in telling us she had signed up for courses in the community college during the evenings. She wanted to work so she would continue her education at night. We were so proud of her.
After lunch Miles turned to Glenna. "This may be a little unusual to include you in this discussion, but you are family and it concerns you as well as me and your mother."
"You aren't sick are you Daddy?"
"Not deathly, but what I have to say is sickening." He paused and I had a minute to wonder if it had to do with me. He continued, "I have a report here that your mother has been cheating. This has been going on for several years. I even know who with and where this happens. I just don't know why."
I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach. He zero'd right in on me. "Would you like to explain Heidi?"
Glenna was in shock. I couldn't think. I wanted to hide. I wanted to scream that it wasn't true, but I couldn't. I was numbed by the truth. I had been so careful. "How did you find out Miles?"
To Glenna this was a confession and she slumped down and put her head on the table. I fought back the best I could. "You're so cruel and mean to tell Glenna this way." Again I asked, "How did you find out?"
"You shouldn't leave your semen stained underwear where I could find it." He was embarrassed and made the excuse that he never poked in my bag, but--. "Your overnight bag was open when I went to get it out of your car. Your underwear was right in my face."
Had he made any decisions yet? Bravely I stated, "So you caught me. What are you going to do now?"
"I haven't thought it through yet. I guess I have two choices. I can keep you or ask you to leave. Before I decide, I would like to know why."
Glenna glared at me. "I'd like to know too." She stood up for her father and hateful looks came my way as she spoke about how good Miles treated me.
"It doesn't matter now. The man is someone I was involved with before I met your father. I didn't see him for several years and then one day we met again. We picked up where we left off before I met you."
Glenna drove my unfaithfulness home when she asked if Miles was her father. That really hurt and I had to defend myself against her charges. "Once or twice a month doesn't take that much from your father. I have always been a good wife to him." Even to me my words sounded lame and foolish.
"In my defense, I broke this off yesterday. I didn't know you had found out I was cheating, but you could have and I was getting concerned that you might someday find out. Does that help at all?"
"Not much. I can't trust you not to go back to him or start with someone else."
"Even if I swore to be faithful?"
"You swore to be faithful once and we know how that has turned out."
Glenna tackled me again. "Mom, I thought you and Dad had the best marriage. Maybe I have Dad's values, because I'm never going to cheat on the man I marry." She got up to leave. "I suppose I have to love you, but I'm awful disappointed in you." Coldly she stated, "I'll call you." She kissed Miles, but ignored me.
I was worried. "Do you think I've lost my daughter?" I was a little mad, too. "We could have discussed this without her being involved. I'm blaming you."
"I'm not taking the blame for any of this. She at least said she would call you so she'll come around. She's just upset."
"So, how are you going to get revenge?"
"Jesus Christ Heidi, don't be so dramatic. Men have lost their wives to someone else before. I'll just have to accept that. This doesn't do my ego much good, but I don't know how I could have changed my life over the last twenty years to prevent you from cheating." He kept pointing out my cheating.
"So what's next?"
"I'm going to see an attorney and talk to someone about how to get a handle on what's happening."
"Probably a shrink." That was what he said. I hoped it wasn't going to be someone like Mitzy, the grass widow across the street.
Was he going to ask me to leave? "Am I going to be able to stay here tonight?"
"For the present. I haven't decided anything yet. If I keep the marriage alive it would be foolish for you to go and then to move back in."
"Thank you for that. Where will I be sleeping?" I was hoping he would say I could be with him.
"I'll move into Glenna's old room."
"No Miles. I'll move there." No one could hear me crying in that room and I knew I was going to be doing a lot of that. I still couldn't understand Miles. There was no ranting and swearing. He was making decisions, not only for himself, but about me as well. Those decisions seemed so cold and without love. Then it came to me--why wouldn't he? Miles was so in control now and I didn't like it.
I knew where I could find a sympathetic ear. Miles was out of the house and I called John as soon as he left. I talked to him for more than an hour. I was grasping at straws as my life had suddenly been turned upside down. I asked John to leave his wife and marry me. After all we had known each other for many, many years. Known him longer than I had known Miles, in fact. He was cool to my idea, but said he would think about it. He did promise to get together one more time with me and tell me of his decision. That was when I would be in Boston again in two weeks.
In the meantime I was going to try to persuade Miles to keep me. Miles treated me no different on the surface than he always had. That was with apparent respect and civility, but he wouldn't touch me and would walk around the table so he wouldn't have to brush by me. I had enough of it, and pissed, I informed Miles I was going to be gone three days instead of two on my buying trip. Let him think what he wanted. Maybe a little jealousy would bring him back to me.
John met me the first day and informed me that no way was he leaving his family for me. That took five minutes. I did my business and that was completed by two that first afternoon. Should I go home? Miles would know that I had struck out with my lover if I returned right away. I spent the rest of the three days crying in my hotel room.
Miles was curious when I came home. "Are you going to him on a permanent basis?"
I faced it. "No his wife won't divorce him. You haven't indicated that you want to divorce me so I'm hoping we can continue as we are." Miles walked across the room and came back with an envelope with divorce papers in it.
"Is this good enough or do you want to be officially served?"
I was through fighting. I had begged one man and wasn't going to beg another. It came to me then that I had begged the wrong man. "No and I'll get an attorney the first of the week. Do you want me to move out now?"
Miles was being generous and said to talk to my attorney to advise me as soon as I retained one. He would lay out the pros and cons about living arrangements. I had the papers in my hand, but maybe I could convince Miles he would be happier with me than without me. It still was a long time before the divorce would be final.
"Miles, you are treating me better than I deserve. You aren't going around telling everyone that I am a cheating wife or a slut either. You are even asking Glenna to stand by me. Sometimes I think she hates me more than you do."
"She is more disappointed and doesn't understand how you could do this to me. I've had the luxury of discussing your cheating with someone."
"Maybe I should talk to that person. I don't understand myself sometimes. Why haven't you told the neighbors you are planning on divorcing me?"
"Because you would be ripped apart by the wives at the party coming up on Labor Day. This way you can go and enjoy yourself. We can tell them before we leave the party. I assume we will face a firestorm as soon as everyone knows we are divorcing. Just don't try and hook up with one of the husbands before or after."
That hurt and I rushed to promise I would behave. There was other decisions that had to be made. "I suppose we should be thinking how we are going to divide our stuff. The house is the main thing."
"We'll have to sell the house. It is too big for either of us. We are all right with our cars. Yours is new and mine is almost. The liquid assets we can split equally. The furniture, well we can take what we need to furnish the apartments wherever we end up. The rest we can sell."
"You have it all planned out. I still can't understand why you aren't more upset with me."
"The person I am talking with said if I couldn't accept what you had done, then I should move on. I'm trying to do that. It is with regret to have to do this. I still will hold a special place in my heart for you." It appeared at the moment as if that special place was something unwanted. Tears came into Miles' eyes and he turned and walked away. God, how I had hurt this man! That minute I hated myself more than he hated me.
I went to him. I had to apologize and let him know I was sorry for my actions. "I'm sorry Miles that I have hurt you so. You're a special guy to me." It probably didn't help him, but I felt better for saying it.
I knew that it had been a long time since Miles had had sex. I wondered what would have happened if I had opened his bedroom door and gone into him. But then, what if he started swearing at me? It was so false and I'm sure he would see right through me. He might take me and I wouldn't mind that. There would be no love though, and I knew he would hate himself afterward. I had lived with him for twenty-some-odd years and I did know how his mind worked. How could I have forgotten that for two nights every two weeks for the past few years?
Glenna came over often to visit. It was always her father she came to see. He explained our living arrangements and that only made her eyes shine brighter for her father. I overheard the conversation when she begged him not to divorce me. He then turned around and explained to her that I had taken his manhood from him. He was actually feeling sorry that he had to do this to me. Not only that, he worried about Glenna not loving me anymore. Someday he said we might become friends, but he didn't see how it could be ever more than that.
It seemed as if whenever I overheard any conversation, I came away with just a little less self-esteem.
The Labor Day party was at the same house as the one earlier in the summer. This was before all of my cheating was known by Miles. I wish I could turn back the clock to that happier time. Tonight I didn't play my flirting games with the husbands. When I saw Audrey Turner and Mitzy Gabbelli sit down with Miles, I went over and sat with them. I suggested he go help with the barbecue. He made a light flip remark and did as I suggested. He soon brought over four trays of food, but not before I had confessed my cheating to both the women.
I think they realized how much I regretted my past actions. Their sympathies were of course with Miles, but they could see that I was hurting too. When it was time to leave, I asked Miles to hand me up onto the picnic table.
I had everyone's attention. I started well enough. I thanked them all for having Miles and me at their get-togethers and said this would be the last one I would attend. "Miles and I are getting a divorce. We have had some issues and our court date is this Friday. We are still friendly and will be living at the same address until everything is finalized. There is no hidden scandal. Anyway, thank you all for being our friends." The tears were running down my face. If I hadn't been such an unfaithful wife, I wouldn't have had to speak up like that to people I genuinely cared for.
Miles helped me down and we made our way out of the yard and toward home. And then the thought, home? Where will I be living shortly? I don't have a home anymore. On the way I told Miles that the speech I had just made was at the suggestion of Audrey and Mitzy. I had told them about me.
"They promised not to tell anyone what I had told them."
Miles said, "Audrey knew already. She knew at the party earlier in the summer. It was right after I found out you were cheating and before I confirmed it. I talked with her about it."
"I'm not surprised. Someone has had to siphon off your anger."
The house soon sold. We actually received more than we asked for as different buyers were bidding on it. We accepted an offer and had to be out of the house the second week of December. My marriage was slowly disintegrating more as each day passed. Now I could say I had no home, for the house had been home. Ten short days after that our divorce was to be final. Miles got busy and leased a one bedroom apartment. I did the same. I was learning that it was going to be very sad living alone. I was forty-two and the loneliness stretched into the future. Could I handle it? I didn't think I could, but life has to go on.
Before this Miles and I always made decisions together. Looking for an apartment and making decisions on my own was very difficult. Now these were made with no discussion between us. We did have to decide on where Glenna was to spend Christmas. Glenna reluctantly decided she would go with me to my father and mother's. She loved both sets of grandparents, but couldn't attend both this year. I think it was Miles that urged her to go with me. God, how could I have been so stupid to not see what a treasure he was.
When it came time to move, Glenna was there to help. There was a small mix-up when the moving crews came. Miles and I had unknowingly hired the same company and when they asked about the addresses we found out that Miles had leased an apartment in the same complex as I had. We finally determined that the two apartments were far enough apart so he and I wouldn't be running into each other. I could have wished otherwise, but I knew he didn't feel that way. At least Glenna, when she visited one of us, would feel obligated to visit the other parent.
The house was emptied completely on the tenth of December. My apartment was a miss-match of items. None of the furnishings really went well with the rooms. The drapes that I brought with me from my old home would have to be shortened. The queen bed fit, but a smaller size would be better and the room not as crowded.
The day we divided up the small stuff, Miles stopped by long enough to sort out the kitchen utensils together so we both had what we needed. For a change he wasn't pleasant to me and growled at everything I said. He certainly knew how to make me feel guilty. Hey, he was the one that wanted to divorce me. I tried to lay the blame on him in my mind, but I couldn't make it work.
Every minute of the first few days after I moved to the new apartment, I wondered how Miles was doing. It couldn't be as bad for him as I was finding it, could it? I asked Glenna if her father had contacted her. She barked at me and said I would know how he was if I hadn't cheated on him. Oh well, I would see him on the fourteenth when we signed off on our previous home. Hopefully we could go out for a drink or dinner afterward.
The fourteenth came and Miles came staggering into the real estate office. He hadn't shaved and I don't think he had changed his clothes since we left our former home. I asked a dumb question. "Miles have you been drinking?"
"I stopped at a bar to celebrate." He mumbled a lot of things about the house and told me he didn't want to hold up the paperwork as I was probably celebrating too. He said he was headed back to the bar to continue after signing the papers. He was able to sign his name when the Realtor pointed to the right place on the forms. I gave Miles' lawyer Glenna's phone number to ask her to come get her father.
Glenna got him to his car and into his apartment and I came in a half hour later to check on her progress. Everything was a mess. Miles was ranting and raving about me being a slut and a whore and what had he ever seen in me. Glenna said he had been like that ever since she had picked him up.
I learned something I didn't know. If I wasn't shamed before, I was now. Miles had hired his friend Patrick to follow me on my trip to Boston. Somehow he had filmed the break-up sex that I had with John. Those two nights put me in the worst light of my whole affair. It is a wonder that Miles hadn't tried to kill me. How could he have kept it all bottled inside of him and treated me as he had over the last several months while we were divorcing.
In all of his ranting he had spelled out vividly how John and me had finished up the affair. He had shared all of this with Glenna before my arrival. She had to hear it all again as he faced me with it. The distasteful looks I was receiving from my daughter made me want to run home screaming. Home--God I hate that word! There wasn't one anymore.
I looked around Miles' apartment. "We are going to have to get him into bed. You keep him here in the kitchen while I make it up fresh." I went into the bathroom. Miles had always been so careful in the bathroom about things being clean. He hadn't done that here. He must have been so drunk so long that he didn't care. I wondered if he had ever hit the toilet bowl when he peed. It didn't look or smell like it.
I didn't do too much as I wanted to get him quiet and into bed. Finally Miles was almost passed out and we were able to get him into the bedroom. Glenna helped me get his clothes off and we rolled him onto his side and covered him up. Glenna was crying steadily and I waited for her to blast me.
Her only thoughts were of her father. "What are we going to do, Mom? He'll die if he doesn't stop this."
"I know and you'll blame me as it is all my fault. As far as I know he only has one friend that he will listen to. I'll call her and see what she thinks we can do." I called Audrey Turner and explained what was going on. She didn't seem that concerned which made me a little angry, but I listened.
"Miles is a good sensible man. He'll get over this even if he doesn't get over you. Leave a note telling him to come for breakfast no matter what time he wakes up. I'll call you and you can maybe clean up his place a little while he is here. Is he working, do you know? If he got fired on top of this, that won't help him get his head together. Look, don't clean up the place until he leaves. When he gets a night's sleep behind him and is sober, he'll come to his senses. Maybe if he thinks Glenna saw his place like it is, that will shake him up even more. He'll be fine, I'm sure."
I had my doubts. Audrey hadn't seen this apartment. Miles was snoring in the bedroom. Glenna sat crying at the kitchen table. I sat on the other side after kicking some beer cans out of the way and told her what Audrey had said.
It came to me. I did know Miles better than Audrey did. "She is right and I do believe her. Miles is a good sensible person and will come out of this. Glenna, I know you hate me and blame me for all of this. You should for I did do this to him. I can't reverse what I have done so it is up to you to love him and support him. There is so much hate and blame that I feel for myself, I don't know but what I should go away."
"Mom don't feel that way. I can't handle having both of you going off the deep end. I'm going to need you behind me to talk about Daddy. I do know one thing, I think you love him a lot more now than before he found out about you cheating on him. Can you tell me why you did? Daddy treated you like a queen. You must have some excuse."
"The thing of it is, I don't have any excuse. It has been going on so long I never worried about getting found out. As far as the sex, yes, it was wilder than I ever had with your father, but it wasn't his fault. How do you go to your husband and say, let's try this or let's have sex like this or I bet I can make you have multiple orgasms. I dearly would have loved to have had your father perform with me like the man I was cheating with."
Glenna sat there shaking her head at me. "Mom, I guess I can understand, but why did you do it the first time? Didn't you feel any guilt then?"
"I did, but it was done and every time after that it was just that much easier. I regret it now. I was so stupid and deserve to lose the love of your father."
"The thing is Mom, you haven't. I think Daddy still loves you as much and that is what hurts him the most. He can't see where he can do anything to change what happened enough to keep his manhood. I predict that if he ever can get beyond your cheating and you two do get back together, your relationship will be stronger than ever." I sat there crying myself now. Glenna gave me the barest hint of hope.
I cleaned Miles' apartment the next morning. I even stocked the pantry (one shelf--big deal) and left a note to pay Glenna. I watched from where he couldn't see me when he came home. He didn't look so beat down. I was coming over later to say hi, but he was sitting outside in the cold so I didn't disturb him.
The nights were especially bad for me. I worried about Miles. I had resigned myself that there would be no more happiness for me for the rest of my life. Miles though, I thought of him constantly, but no way came to mind to relieve the pain I must have caused him.
Glenna went over Saturday morning, reporting back to me that he was a totally different person than the day we had helped him. Glenna did say that he was letting the divorce go through. I had resigned myself to that, but I was disappointed all the same. He had gone back to work the next day and had also joined a gym. "He says he is going out chasing women to get over you. He may, but I know he will always love you."
Christmas was bad for all of us. For Miles too, as we had always been so friendly with each other's in-laws, going first to one and the other the next year. My mother didn't say too much, but let it be known that she blamed it all on me, her stupid daughter. She made it plain that I had lost the man that had loved me and I didn't deserve another, much less looking for a reconciliation with Miles.
Miles bumped into me the day before New Years and invited me to share his cooking with him. It gave me a rush and some hope. He asked me to pick out the wine. We were going to watch the New Year come in on the television at his place because I didn't have one yet. When we got to his apartment it was spotless and he proudly proclaimed it was all his doings. I was impressed. I bustled around the kitchen and realized he wasn't with me and had gone into the other room. I walked into his living room and the look in his eyes showed sheer hatred. For a minute he scared me.
He apologized and asked me to leave, saying that he didn't know yet if he still loved me a little or just plain hated me. It was too soon to sort out his feelings for me. He did offer me one of the bottles of wine and a container of the chili he had made.
"Okay Miles, call me sometime. You know we never talked about my affair. We should. I'd like to get beyond the guilt I feel. I fucked your life up and I know I fucked up my own. I guess I fucked us both up. We won't ever be able to salvage anything until we get it all out into the open. That is the only reason I agreed to come here tonight. You are right, it is too soon. I will take some chili and the wine. I will also take a New Year's kiss from you when I leave."
I got my kiss and there was some passion in it. I still wanted to talk and he agreed to call me sometime. No person should have the pain I felt heaped on them when I reached my apartment. I came very close to suicide that night. I hoped when I left that Miles didn't start drinking again. That would be on my head as well. Maybe I had better stick around and take care of him if he did get like he had the day of the house closure.
It seemed that Miles had dropped off the face of the earth for I never saw him going into or coming out of his apartment. Glenna finally talked to him when he sent her flowers on Valentines Day. He worked at the same place but had taken on different duties and was out of town weeks at a time. She claimed that he hadn't got over me yet. I had to ask myself if that was good or not.
It only took a couple of days to find out when Miles first started dating. Someone had seen him out at different times with both Audrey and Mitzy. I knew it was going to happen, but it was crushing all the same.
Glenna was invited to eat with Miles at his apartment. They had an easy relationship and she said he was becoming a great cook. He told her he loved his job and had a new hobby. He was hanging out in lounges and bars watching how different women acted. Some were sluts looking to hook up and some even came in with their husbands to satisfy some fetish or fantasy. He said he even rescued, as he put it, one damsel in distress. This worried me that he would eventually start picking up different women for sex. The worry which I didn't have a right to. I cried all that night.
I did talk to Audrey occasionally. She said yes she made him dinner and sometimes they went out. I actually was glad. Not so much that she was dating Miles, but that Miles could have an enjoyable evening--nights too, I suspected.
My love life is the pits. It wasn't often, but I did try dating. I made it plain to anyone that asked me for a date that sex wasn't included. Men didn't believe me, especially if they knew why I was divorced and a couple times I had to fight them off. Usually I was called worse names than Miles ever called me including the night that he had been so drunk. I gave up dating and I'm getting more lonely and depressed as time goes on.
A day after Valentines Day I received a bouquet of twenty-two roses. No note or anything. I'm not dumb. Must be Miles was feeling maudlin or Glenna said something to him when she thanked him for her bouquet. At this point in my life, I'll take anything from Miles for whatever reason. I did tell Glenna how thrilled I was to get the flowers. I knew she would tell her dad. There was no response but I felt good--maybe a little lonelier though.
Miles was dating Audrey and sometimes Mitzy. Mitzy, however, had taken up with Patrick and I heard that Miles wasn't the only man Audrey was dating. People just delighted in keeping me informed about Miles and everything he did. My face was brave but my heart broke every time some gossip came my way.